Since First Dates started, I’ve mostly watched for the awkwardness.
I’m not sure there’s anything more uncomfortable than watching two people get to know each other. And that’s the magic of the show. You’ve got all the hilariously tense elements of a first date, without actually having to go on one.
But as I was watching the final episode of the season last night, something changed.
I fell in love.
And it wasn’t with Josh, the ridiculously attractive rugby-player-turned-stripper who looks like Hamish Blake.
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Or Colin, the suave older man who politely laughed at his date’s vagina joke.
It was with a woman named Jessica.
As soon as she walked in, I knew I liked her. She had that Chrissie Swan/Meshel Laurie sass that I admire in women. She was really funny. She was confident. And she was just there to have a good time.
Before the date, she told the cameras she was used to being friend-zoned.
Jessica’s complaint about being relegated to the friend-zone is far from trivial.
The “Jessicas” of the world, with their confidence and wit, probably intimidate the kind of blokes who think women are one dimensional.
And Jessica is not one-dimensional. She is amazing.
From the moment she meets her date, Chris, she seems entirely comfortable. And subsequently her date looks like the most fun of the entire season.
She has her priorities straight. If she’s going to date on national television, she’s going to get a good meal out of it. And you know what? Menu envy is a thing. Jessica is sick of ordering a meal only to be jealous of her date’s meal when it comes out. So what does she do? She suggests they order everything and share. I’M OFFICIALLY IN LOVE.
Her conversation with Chris is genuine, interesting and funny. Chris recently lost a significant amount of weight, and Jessica is authentic when she congratulates him.
But when he starts rattling on about “greens” and the intricate details of his diet, Jessica gently derails him. Because, Chris, that’s boring. “Yeah, you’ve just got to indulge sometimes,” she says, before changing the topic.
SO MUCH YES.
They talk about marriage and kids, and in no way is Jessica awkward. She asks straightforward questions and she gives straightforward answers. They hardly engage in any of the small talk typical of first dates. Because small talk SUCKS and Jessica knows this.
Watch the sneak peak for last night’s episode, which mostly stars Jessica, because she was the best.
Ultimately, Jessica opted to see Chris again, but only as a friend. He was a little upset because he feels like he always gets put in the friend-zone. But you know what, Chris? Jessica will make a brilliant friend. A funny, warm, and supportive friend. And if she wants to, she’ll find a partner to be with romantically. Because somewhere, not only is there a guy who will love Jessica for being her amazing self, there’s a guy Jessica will love too.
Who did you love on First Dates?